By Beth David, Editor
The Fairhaven Selectboard received a five-year revenue projection from Town Administrator Mark Rees at their meeting on Monday, 12/3/18. The board also decided to schedule another public hearing to discuss alleged violations at the Fairhaven Getty Station, and asked for photos for the annual town report.
Mr. Rees told the board that he kept his projections “conservative,” so that the town does not end up in trouble counting on revenue that may not materialize. He said his projections were based on past years and other indications of what can be expected to come in, such as increased receipts from conservation filings due to hiring a full time Conservation Agent.
He estimated revenue increases at 2.9% for the next Fiscal Year, and average a projected increase of 2.5% for the next few years. He said actual revenues will most likely increase by significantly more than 2.5%.
He said he anticipated about $560,000 in local receipts (such as permitting fees), $50,000 from the medical marijuana dispensary, and about $200,000 net from the Wind Turbines.
Mr. Rees’s spreasheet shows projected revenue for FY20 to be $50,626,404, with his estimated budget to be $49,225,031. The difference will go to free cash.
In another matter, the board discussed a report from Building Commissioner/Zoning Enforcement Agent Kristian White generated after he received complaints about the Fairhaven Getty station on Route 6. The business has been in violation on several occasions over the past few years and the owner has appeared before the board on more than on occasion.
The complaints were the same as before: Too many cars on the lot, employee cars parked on the street, fire access blocked, enroachment of setback on Grinnell Street. The report also alleged that there were several unregistered cars at 51 Mangham Way, which, according to online town records, was sold to Hatem El Rifai in March. Mr. El Rifai is the owner/ operator of Fairhaven Getty.
According to the report dated 11/26, Mr. White investigated complaints on six separate occasions in November.
One of the complaints was for nine unregistered vehicles at Custom Floors, 405 Huttleston Avenue. Mr. White wrote that the store manager told him the cars were owned by Mr. El Rifai and that they had worked out a deal whereby the Getty would store vehicles at Custom Floors in exchange for repair work on Custom Floors vehicles.
Board members agreed that they should hold a public hearing to discuss the new alleged violations, but did not set the date.
The board also heard from Kathy Lopes informing the board that the annual Polar Plunge is scheduled for January 1, 1019, at 10 a.m. at Fort Phoenix. Ms. Lopes, appearing with her co-director Carol-Ann Days Merrill, explained that the plunge itself is free, but plungers are encouraged to register. Funds are raised through t-shirt sales, with all net proceeds going to the Dollars For Scholars program. Ms. Lopes said that last year the race gave four $500-scholarships to high school seniors.
This year’s theme is the 1940’s and plungers are encouraged to dress in their favorite 40’s themed costumes.
In other business, the board also approved the Call Firefighter wage scale, which had been changed a little from the previous decisions. Mr. Rees explained that the Fire Department notified him that Call Firefighters also have a variety of ranks. The change includes step increases for the ranks, but all Call Firefighter wages will still fall into the Grade 9 category.
The board also put the call out for photos for the annual report. You do not have to be a professional photographer to submit a photo. There is no compensation if your photo is chosen.
Please submit no more than digital photos to selectmen@Fairhaven-MA.gov by January 7. To see some of the other covers used over the years, visit https://www.fairhaven-ma.gov/board-selectmen/pages/town-reports
At the end of the meeting Selectboard member Charles K. Murphy, Sr., addressed the vandalism at Fairhaven High School last week (see page 10).
He said it was “disgusting and deplorable for anyone to do that to our castle.”
It was “horrendous act,” said Mr. Murphy, adding that he hoped they would get caught.
The board also convened in executive session to discuss labor negotiations for several unions.
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